TAVISTOCK PB PROFILES
December 2017 Performance
Global equity markets reached record highs in 2017. Driven by solid economic growth, higher international trade flows and moderate inflation, the “Goldilocks” economy continued to reward risk assets. US equity indices such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ 100 and S&P 500 all reached successive record highs. For the first time in history, the S&P 500 posted positive gains for each month of the 2017 calendar year. December proved no exception, with most major indices higher including the MSCI World up 1.26% and 20.11% YTD. December’s star performer was the FTSE 100, which rose 4.93%, as Brexit concerns appeared to ease and commodity price gains lifted natural resource based companies.
Despite three interest rate rises in the US, one in the UK and accelerating inflation, global bond markets continued to perform well throughout 2017. The Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate bond index (USD unhedged) rose 0.35% in December and more than 7% YTD, its best annual return in 10 years. Government bond yield curves continued to flatten. In the US, the 2 year Treasury yield rose 10bps in December to 1.89%, up 69bps YTD. Meanwhile, the 30 year Treasury yield fell -9bps, down -31bps YTD. The UK Gilt curve also flattened and valuations remain supported by limited supply into year end.
In foreign exchange markets, the US Dollar Index fell approximately -1% and was down almost -10% YTD, making the US Dollar the worst performing G10 currency of 2017. In contrast, the Euro rose to $1.20, up 0.79% MTD and 14.11% YTD. Sterling also did well having risen 9.53% this year to $1.35, although it was broadly flat in December. In Commodity markets, Gold rose 2.20% to $1,302.45 per ounce, up 13.11% YTD, and WTI Oil rose 5.26% to $60.42 a barrel, up 12.47% YTD.
The portfolios have performed very well over the past year and our short-term market view is ‘more of the same’. But the good times can’t last forever. Geopolitical risks remain high, interest rates are set to rise and the withdrawal of central bank liquidity may have unintended consequences. With volatility set to increase over the medium-term, portfolio diversification across global markets will be vital, especially on a currency hedged basis.
Happy New Year and best wishes for a successful 2018!
The value of investments held in the Tavistock PB PROFILES may fall as well as rise. Past performance should not be seen as an indication of future performance. The rolling 1 year dividend yield is quoted as of 31st December 2017 (applicable to income share class only). The Tavistock PB PROFILES are a white-labelled offering based on the DFM Portfolio Management Service provided by PB Financial Planning. PB Financial Planning is a trading style of Tavistock Private Client Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The inception date of the PB Financial Planning DFM Portfolio Management Service is 18/02/08. All Tavistock PB PROFILE performance data up until 31/12/16 has been provided by PB Financial Planning Limited. As of 01/01/17, all Tavistock PB PROFILES invest in a blend of the ACUMEN Portfolio range. All performance data thereafter is provided by Tavistock Wealth Limited. Source of data: PB Financial Planning Limited, Tavistock Wealth Limited, Thomson Reuters and Lipper for Investment Management unless otherwise stated. Date of data: 31st December 2017 unless otherwise stated.